Summary: Understanding what "Faith without Works is Dead" really means.
3rd in a series
FAITH and WORKS
We talk about our prayer list quite a bit, don’t we? Intercessory Prayer demands strong faith. Otherwise, why are we praying at all? When we cannot respond to the hurting needs of others, we can always pray. Do we pray because of our strong faith or to satisfy some since of obligation and perhaps regimentation? So, we pray because we know as Christians, we are supposed to. That aligns with a form of obligatory legalism. We should be praying because we believe God will answer positively to the needs that we seek.
Have you ever told someone that you would be praying for them? Did you just say that to make them feel good or did you get right to fervent prayer? Do we believe that God answers prayer? Do we believe that God is answering our intercessory prayers?
That process is an act of FAITH!
As we seek God’s will in intercessory prayer are we listening for His response? If we pray for someone seeking employment, should we simply pray that God will provide a means of employment? What if God opens a window or a door to us that provides a means of directing the job seeker to a good means of employment? Often our answer to prayer comes with a means of our being a direct part of that answer. That friends is one of the ways that we do beyond words. We can call that an act or WORKS.
A neighbor down the street is struggling to put food on the table. We pray that God will provide their needs. Shall we just pray and feel good about our response? Could we call among our friends and co-workers and see if we might be a channel of God’s Love and Mercy in the form of a week’s worth of groceries- or more?
We try and be as anonymous as we can, when we find ourselves in that channel of love exercising FAITH and WORKS. Here at CFF, we have a working arrangement with a local Publix Grocery store. When a customer begins putting stuff back on the shelf at checkout because they are short on sufficient cash to pay for it, the manager uses a gift card from us that covers that gap. The customer is simply told that God has made a way to bless them.
We try to understand that Faith without works is dead faith. It appears to some to be a direct contradiction of Ephesians 2:8-9. What I am trying to get across is that believing is a matter of faith. We cannot just pretend to believe. Pretense of faith is tantamount to pretending to be a Christian.
Our salvation is derived by our faith in the prayer of dedication. We pray our confession as sinners, our profession of faith in Jesus Christ and His crucifixion as atonement for those sins and the profession of our desire of obedience to and love of Christ.
Okay, so we pray that prayer of dedication and believe we are saved. Indeed, we receive that gift of salvation.
Is that it?
“Faith, unaccompanied by deeds (of love, compassion, etc.) is dead.” “What we believe is revealed by how we live.” – Direct quote from: The Book of James Bible Study, Rose Publishing, 2018, page 42.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
As a life application to this study, may I offer the following:
1 – Be more tuned in to the open doors of opportunity to share God’s love.
2 – Look for ways to bless others, especially those in need.
3 – Be more charitable with feelings and reactions to others.
4 – As we said in a recent message – be a DOER!
Let us now pray -